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  • 46 Million Two Picower Projects Funded And Five Picower Faculty Among Recipients The National Institutes of Health announced today its first wave of investments totaling 46 million in fiscal year 14 funds to support the goals of the Brain Research through Advancing Read More 4 By Joshua Sarinana In Chung Lab News Press Releases Sur Lab News Posted September 30 2014 Picower and MIT Scientists Sur Brown Chung and Wickersham Awarded Brain Initiative Grants Explore perceptual decision making Mriganka Sur principal investigator PI Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and Paul E Newton Professor of Neuroscience MIT department of brain and Read More 1 By Joshua Sarinana In Chung Lab News Nedivi Lab News Press Releases Sur Lab News Tsai Lab News Tye Lab News Posted September 30 2014 Congratulations to Brain Initiative Grant Recipients Two Picower let project funded and five Picower Faculty among the recipients Today the National Institutes of Health NIH announced their first round of Brain Initiative award recipients Read More 1 By Joshua Sarinana In Nedivi Lab News Press Releases Sur Lab News Posted September 30 2014 Picower and MIT Scientists Awarded BRAIN Initiative Grants Researchers will advance our understanding of the human mind and discover new ways to treat prevent and cure neurological disorders Today the National Institutes of Health NIH announced the Read More 1 By Joshua Sarinana In Nedivi Lab News Press Releases Sur Lab News Posted September 30 2014 Fifteen MIT Scientists Receive NIH Brain Initiative Grants Today the National Institutes of Health NIH announced their first round of BRAIN Initiative award recipients Six teams and 15 researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were Read More 2 By Joshua Sarinana In Bear Lab News Press Releases Posted September 25 2014 Using Science for Service Sofia Essayan Perez is inspired by those around her to teach in Nicaragua conduct neuroscience research MIT senior Sofia Essayan Perez majoring in brain and cognitive sciences with a minor in Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Press Releases Posted September 19 2014 Steve Heinemann in Memoriam With deep sympathy for his family friends and colleagues the MIT community and the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory were greatly saddened by the recent passing of Stephen F Heinemann Read More 1 By Joshua Sarinana In Littleton Lab News Press Releases Posted September 4 2014 Patients With a Rare Neuromuscular Disorder and Those With Nerve Damage Tied to Autoimmune Disorders May Share the Same Faulty Synapses Patients with a rare neuromuscular disorder and those with nerve damage tied to autoimmune disorders may share the same faulty synapses neuroscientists at MIT s Picower Institute for Learning Read More 1 By Joshua Sarinana In Littleton Lab News Press Releases Posted September 4 2014 Picower Study Finds Connection Between Rare Muscle Disease and Autoimmune Disorders Patients with a rare neuromuscular disorder and those with nerve damage tied to autoimmune disorders may share the same faulty synapses neuroscientists at MIT s Picower Institute for Learning Read More 0 By Joshua

    Original URL path: https://picower.mit.edu/cms/category/news/press-releases/page/2/ (2016-04-25)
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  • MIT study also pinpoints where the brain stores memory traces both false and authentic The phenomenon of false memory has been well documented In many court cases defendants have been found Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Press Releases Tsai Lab News Posted May 21 2013 Reducing Caloric Intake Delays Nerve Cell Loss Study points to role of protein in anti aging benefits of calorie restriction Activating an enzyme known to play a role in the anti aging benefits of calorie restriction delays the loss of brain Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Miller Lab News Press Releases Posted May 19 2013 Complex Brain Function Depends on Flexibility Neurons that can multitask greatly enhance the brain s computational power study finds Over the past few decades neuroscientists have made much progress in mapping the brain by deciphering the Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Littleton Lab News Press Releases Posted January 15 2013 Study Finds a New Culprit for Epileptic Seizures Discovery that some seizures arise in glial cells could offer new targets for epilepsy treatment Epileptic seizures occur when neurons in the brain become excessively active However a new Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Littleton Lab News Press Releases Posted January 2 2013 New Insights into How Brain Synapses Transmit Information Two essential proteins regulate the molecular machinery that controls neuronal communication and the release of signals between neurons Throughout the animal kingdom cells encapsulate molecules Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Press Releases Tye Lab News Posted December 12 2012 In Search of Better Antidepressants New study suggests targeting dopamine releasing neurons could lead to more effective therapies A new study from researchers at MIT and Stanford University pinpoints brain cells that appear to be Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Miller Lab News Press Releases Posted November 21 2012 Brain Waves Encode Rules for Behavior Fluctuations in electrical activity may also allow the brain to form thoughts and memories One of the biggest puzzles in neuroscience is how our brains encode thoughts such as perceptions and Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Press Releases Tsai Lab News Posted October 29 2012 Belfer Gift Creates Consortium Targeting Neurodegenerative Diseases Collaboration unites Picower Institute at MIT with MD Anderson Cancer Center and Baylor College of Medicine The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT is one of three entities that Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Press Releases Sur Lab News Posted September 27 2012 How Attention Helps you Remember New study finds long overlooked cells help the brain respond to visual stimuli A new study from MIT neuroscientists sheds light on a neural circuit that makes us likelier to remember what we re Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Press Releases Wilson Lab News Posted September 2 2012 Mit Neuroscientists Achieve Dream Engineering in Rats Picower Institute for Learning and Memory Neuroscientist Matt Wilson has shown not only that animals dream but that they dream about what

    Original URL path: https://picower.mit.edu/cms/category/news/press-releases/page/3/ (2016-04-25)
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  • Miller Lab News Press Releases Posted June 23 2011 When Four is not Four But Rather Two Plus Two MIT neuroscientists redefine the limits of visual working memory When it comes to working memory the brain s mental sketchpad studies have largely converged on four as the magic number It s Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Press Releases Posted March 1 2011 Parts of Brain Can Switch Functions In people born blind brain regions that usually process vision can tackle language When your brain encounters sensory stimuli such as the scent of your morning coffee or the sound of a honking Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Press Releases Posted January 28 2011 Illuminating the Brain Neuroscientists new technique can stimulate brain cells then reveal how those neurons influence the rest of the brain There are about 100 billion neurons in the human brain and each one Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Press Releases Tsai Lab News Posted January 11 2011 6 from MIT Named AAAS Fellows Li Huei Tsai together with six additional MIT faculty has been elected as a Fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science AAAS Tsai was selected for her studies Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Press Releases Posted October 10 2010 MIT Researchers Develop a Better Way to See Molecules at Work in Living Brain Cells By creating a better way to see molecules at work in living brain cells researchers affiliated with MIT s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and the MIT Department of Chemistry are Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Press Releases Tsai Lab News Posted July 14 2010 Protein Linked to Aging May Boost Memory and Learning Ability Discovery could lead to new drugs to fight Alzheimer s and

    Original URL path: https://picower.mit.edu/cms/category/news/press-releases/page/4/ (2016-04-25)
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  • the Sherman Fairchild Foundation in 1994 Susumu assembled a multidisciplinary core team comprised of himself Matt Wilson and Earl Miller all renowned members of Picower s current faculty Susumu s early team which also included Mark Bear and the late Steve Heinemann received a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health NIMH facilitating the launch of the Center for Learning and Memory Thanks to a generous grant from the Picower Foundation in 2002 the Center transitioned into the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory We invite you to read the highlights of the Fall Symposium speakers presentations in this newsletter As we embark on our next twenty years we look forward to hosting many future symposiums sustaining our commitment to share the perspectives of the world s leading neuroscientists as they continue to unlock intriguing mysteries of the human brain Optimal Integration of Sensory Evidence Building Blocks and Canonical Computations Conceptual Components of How Multiple Sensory Cues Can Lead to Multi sensory Perception Conceptual components of how multiple sensory cues can lead to multisensory perception a These components include causal inference to determine if the sensory cues have a common source integration to improve precision calibration to improve accuracy reconciliation of the reference frames in which each sense is encoded accumulation of evidence across time and the incorporation of prior information b The most well studied of these processes multisensory cue integration improves precision Consider the task of localizing a bird in a tree s using auditory xA and visual xV cues The brain could represent each sensory cue probabilistically with a likelihood function p xA s and p xV s blue and red and combines them with prior information p s black to produce a posterior p s xA xV purple describing how likely the bird is to be perceived at a particular location The prior reflects past experience here a tendency for the bird to be further to the left than the current sensory information suggests Li Huei Tsai On October 21 we were honored to host the annual Picower Institute for Learning and Memory Fall Symposium bringing together distinguished scientists to discuss how the brain s wiring system regulates everything from fear to spatial perception vision sensory responses decision making and sleep patterns We greatly appreciate the dedicated time and effort contributed by the presenters to share their latest insights and enhance our understanding of how complex brain mechanisms operate and impact the way we behave and learn Neural Mechanisms of Behavior and Cognition the theme of the Fall Symposium aligns precisely with the Picower Institute s mission to advance understanding of the mysteries of the mind through study of the brain The topic is also a timely one given that this year marks the twentieth anniversary of the Center for Learning and Memory the brainchild of founder Susumu Tonegawa who championed the idea that our ability to impact human behavior and cognition requires a comprehensive understanding of the neural circuits and systems that influence learning and memory Supported by a gift from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation in 1994 Susumu assembled a multidisciplinary core team comprised of himself Matt Wilson and Earl Miller all renowned members of Picower s current faculty Susumu s early team which also included Mark Bear and the late Steve Heinemann received a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health NIMH facilitating the launch of the Center for Learning and Memory Thanks to a generous grant from the Picower Foundation in 2002 the Center transitioned into the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory We invite you to read the highlights of the Fall Symposium speakers presentations in this newsletter As we embark on our next twenty years we look forward to hosting many future symposiums sustaining our commitment to share the perspectives of the world s leading neuroscientists as they continue to unlock intriguing mysteries of the human brain Two Curious Observations in Cerebellar Circuit Assembly Neurotrophin Signaling in Competitive Dendrite Morphogenesis A Purkinje cell heterozygous for the neurotrophin receptor TrkC yellow and a Purkinje cell homozygous mutant for TrkC green side by side in a cerebellar section visualized by the MADM technique Sparse loss of TrkC results in reduced dendrite height branch number and total length but global loss does not cause these morphogenesis defects For more detail see Joo et al 2014 Science 346 626 629 Liqun Luo Liqun Luo Stanford biology professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator studies the logic of brain wiring how neural circuits are organized and built He started his talk with a quote from South African biologist Sydney Brenner Progress in science depends on new techniques new discoveries and new ideas probably in that order Noting that there are still a lot of unsolved mysteries in brain circuitry Luo s presentation focused on the cerebellum a long favored model for studying development because of its simplicity It contains five types of neurons with the only output version being the Purkinje cell Many scientists view the cerebellum as a generic learning machine that integrates information in a way that empowers its circuits to drive many important functions including motor coordination Recently there s been an increasing appreciation of the cerebellum s important role in cognition Purkinje cells receive input from developing granular cells which extend mossy fibers upward to form the synapses of dendritic trees Luo and his team label manipulate trace and analyze Purkinje cells quantifying the number size and structure of dendrites and revealing mutations and defects during development Apparently there is some serious competition involved when it comes to shaping Purkinje cell dendritic trees First the signaling level of a Purkinje cell relative to its neighbors determines the size of its dendritic tree At the same time neurons in the peripheral nervous system compete for a limited number of available growth proteins required for survival and differentiation Luo s findings expand and refine classical neurotrophic theory validating that dendritic growth is intimately related to competitive synapse formation He further speculates that there might be a first come first served process at work such that early arriving mossy fibers transmitting different information than late arrivers might find themselves in preferred locations on Purkinje cell dendritic trees Luo hopes fellow neuroscientists will be inspired to explore how this organizational structure impacts function This indeed is likely one symposium attendee enthusiastically remarked I too love the cerebellum When Hot Is Not the Opposite of Cold Thermosensory Processing in the Drosophila Brain Drosophilia melanogaster Meigen 1830 Rachel Wilson Rachel Wilson s lab at Harvard Medical School investigates how neural circuits process sensory stimuli It has been known for some time that individual peripheral neurons in the skin specifically signal either warm or cool In the nineteenth century Swedish physiologist Magnus Blix proved this by passing an electrical current through a needle he inserted in his own skin Different spots on his skin produced a perception of either warm or cool We now know he was stimulating individual peripheral thermosensory neurons in his skin Today one theory of how such signals are processed in the central nervous system suggests that warm preferring neurons always cause the perception of warmth and cool preferring neurons always cause the perception of cool A competing theory proposes that warm and cool neurons interact in complicated ways in the central nervous system Some evidence for the latter theory can be found by placing your hand on a thermal grill apparatus consisting of alternating warm and cool metal bars You will feel an intense burning pain not a mixture of warm and cool even though each metal bar feels just pleasantly warm and cool when touched independently Wilson s laboratory is investigating how the brain could interpret signals from peripheral warm and cool neurons using the fruit fly which like us has peripheral thermosensory neurons that are selectively excited by warm or cool stimuli In essence each peripheral neuron acts like a thermometer The warm preferring peripheral neurons are right side up thermometers they go up when temperature rises and they go down when temperature drops whereas the cool preferring peripheral neurons are upside down thermometers they go up when temperature drops and they go down when temperature rises The researchers found that there are neurons in the brain that respond specifically to cool and these neurons receive input from cool preferring neurons in the periphery In other words the brain circuitry for cool is relatively simple Wilson s team also identified brain neurons that respond specifically to warm Surprisingly these warm neurons in the brain actually listen to both thermometers in the periphery The input from the right side up thermometer is excitatory whereas the input from the upside down thermometer is inhibitory So when the temperature rises the warm neurons in the brain receive a positive input from the right side up thermometer which excites them but also a reversed input from the upside down thermometer which also excites them The net effect is to make these warm neurons in the brain more sensitive to weak stimuli So hot is not simply the opposite of cold because the brain circuit for one perception is not just the mirror image of the other circuit It is much more complicated because it actually listens to both types of thermometer neurons Memory Engram Cells Have Come of Age Model for Valence Switch from Fear to Pleasure Hippocampus cells carrying a memory engram for the context in which an episode occurs project to two distinct sets of amygdala cells each carrying memory engrams for a fearful or pleasurable episode When male mice experience a fearful episode like foot shocks the connections between the hippocampal engram cells and the amygdala fear engram cells are strengthened and hence aversive behavior freezing results Subsequently if the same male mice experience a pleasurable experience like meeting female mice the connections between the same hippocampal engram cells and the amygdala pleasure engram cells are strengthened as the connections with the fear engram cells are weakened generating appetitive behavior Consequently the valence of the memory switches from fear to pleasure Susumu Tonegawa Certainly no stranger to the symposium audience Nobel laureate Susumu Tonegawa the Picower Professor of Biology and Neuroscience at MIT introduced his talk by reminding attendees that the way we form and retrieve our memories remains one of the fundamental questions in neuroscience Contemporary memory engram theory postulates that when we form new memories particular brain cells are activated and undergo enduring physical chemical changes that enable memory recall when the neurons are subsequently reactivated Despite attempts by many researchers it has been difficult to demonstrate this theory in its entirety It has been suggested that proving memory engram theory requires specifically labeling only the neurons involved in memory formation activated by experience and subsequently reinstating the memory by reactivating those neurons Using advanced genetic technologies and sophisticated behavioral paradigms Tonegawa lab postdoctoral fellow Xu Liu and graduate student Steve Ramirez did exactly that and delivered credible evidence of the theory Using contextual fear conditioning in transgenic mice they were able to label and activate the memory tracing engram cells People sometimes form false memories memories of an experience that actually never happened to them as in the case of erroneous eyewitness testimony After DNA evidence was introduced many of those incarcerated for crimes they did not commit were exonerated following DNA analysis Tonegawa s lab decided to test the idea of false memory creation based on recalled past experience Ramirez and Liu documented the ability to not only artificially reactivate specific memories in the brain but also to create memories Using optogenetics and lab mice the Picower scientists manipulated cells activated during formation of fear memories to implant a new memory of an event that never happened Next Tonegawa highlighted memory engrams associated with fearful and pleasurable experiences His lab team has observed male mice experiencing fear followed by increased activation of fear engram cells and aversive behavior When the same mice spend time with female mice pleasure engram cells are strengthened at the cost of the previously acquired fear memory Consequently the valence of the memory switches from fear to pleasure Tonegawa closed his presentation by explaining how repeatedly reactivating engram cells formed during positive experiences can suppress depression related behaviors The Influence of Gaze Control Circuits on Visual Cortical Signals and its Relations to Perception and Cognition Multi electrode neuronal recordings within a single column of visual cortex Multi electrode neuronal recordings within a single column of visual cortex Top horizontal MRI section showing the pial surface green and gray white border red of visual area V4 within the prelunate gyrus of the macaque cerebral cortex Circle beneath section depicts the recording chamber and the contour vectors indicate the angle of the cortical surface and thus where orthogonal electrode penetrations are possible Bottom left laminar microelectrode shown at low left and high right magnification Solid lines indicate the first four of 16 electrode contacts example recordings of local field potentials LFPs and sample single neuron extracellular recordings black fit of green waveforms Bottom right diagram shows examples of visual receptive fields of single neurons colored regions recorded at different layers of a single cortical column hence their concentric overlap Figure courtesy of N A Steinmetz Tirin Moore It is known that we have a limited capacity to simultaneously process a lot of visual information thus often missing a lot of what is right before our eyes But we are able to focus on one location selectively process relevant information and ignore other visual distractions Tirin Moore an associate professor of neurobiology at Stanford shared insights about the neural mechanisms that control visual attention His lab focuses on identifying the sources that modulate visual signals and determining how an animal controls the signals according to behavioral demands Many studies have established the fact that most visual activity is modulated by covert attention As might be expected neurons in the visual cortex exhibit increased responsiveness at attended versus ignored locations In the past decade an abundance of evidence has implicated motor structures in the control of visual spatial tension A frontal eye field FEF in the prefrontal cortex has been identified as the area most directly involved in controlling eye movements Activating neurons within the FEF deploys spatial tension to particular locations and modulates visual responses within the visual cortex The FEF appears to be necessary for normal attention but scientists do not know if the FEF signals related to preparing eye movements and modulating visual responses emanate from the same group of neurons One hypothesis suggests that visual cells modulated during attention project to the visual cortex while separately neurons involved in motor control project to the brain stem A competing theory documented by Moore s team proposes that some eye movement signals are conveyed back to the visual cortex They also found that when an animal prepares to look at something that distracts it from the task at hand visual responses are modulated in the same way that they are for attended locations So neurons related to eye movement modulate visual responses in the same way regardless of spatial attention demands Neural Circuits for Sleep Wake Control Effect of Activating Brainstem Neurons Yang Dan Yang Dan neurobiology professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of California Berkeley began her presentation by reminding the audience of the three distinct brain states involved in sleep non REM dull or no sensation REM vivid dreams and wakefulness rich experiences of the external world She and her colleagues are studying the neuromechanisms and brain regions hypothalamus brain stem and basal forebrain that modulate these states of sleep and wakefulness Most recently they have been exploring the activity interaction and functional properties of major cell types in the basal forebrain that influence sleep related brain states The scientists implanted an optic fiber and used optogenetic techniques in the mouse brain to determine that laser stimulation of specific neurons decreased non REM sleep increased wakefulness and had little impact on REM sleep When a different type of forebrain neurons were activated the researchers recorded an opposite effect an increase in non REM sleep and decreased wakefulness and discovered one type of sleep active neurons that fire during the non REM state These sleep promoting neurons strongly inhibit the three types of wake promoting neurons a process that may be relevant in inducing and or maintaining sleepiness In a study of the brain stem Dan and her team found that activating particular neurons induces non REM to REM transitions and doubles the duration of REM sleep The researchers also found that from the time an animal enters and remains in REM sleep neurons fire at a high rate whereas during non REM firing rates are consistently low and during wakefulness the rate is variable When mice kick back and enjoy themselves while eating or grooming neurons are firing away but the activity stops when the mice start running around Flow of Information Underlying a Tactile Decision Flow of Information Underlying a Tactile Decision Karel Svoboda Karel Svoboda s lab at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Research Campus studies the structure function and plasticity of cortical circuits in behaving mice mainly in the context of active tactile sensation The reason our bodies are able to make such fast and precise movements is because our brains plan them ahead of time Svoboda says the discovery of this preparatory activity anticipating specific movements was perhaps the first neurophysiological correlate of a cognitive phenomenon Citing an example of motor planning on steroids Svoboda showed a clip of Rubik s Cube record holder Marcell Endrey blindly solving the puzzle in 28 seconds During the few moments before the blindfold goes on Endrey clearly develops a motor plan that he executes into sixty five precise rotations to get the job done Previous studies have shown that neural activity in the motor cortex reflects specific planned movements a motor plan but the relationship between these

    Original URL path: https://picower.mit.edu/cms/20141231/neuroscience-news-fall-2014/ (2016-04-25)
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  • Joshua Sarinana In Press Releases Sur Lab News Posted December 11 2014 Picower Neuroscientists Reveal Fundamental Discovery about Cortical Neurons Inhibitory neuron functionality is not an immutable property of cortical cells but a consequence of more complex network dynamics The two major types of neuron in the brain s cerebral cortex Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Publications Sur Lab Publications Posted December 11 2014 Response dependent dynamics of cell specific inhibition in cortical networks in vivo El Boustani S Sur M Nat Commun 2014 Dec 11 5 5689 doi 10 1038 ncomms6689 Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Publications Tsai Lab Publications Posted December 9 2014 Histone deacetylases in memory and cognition Penney J Tsai LH Sci Signal 2014 Dec 9 7 355 re12 doi 10 1126 scisignal aaa0069 Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Publications Sur Lab Publications Posted December 9 2014 Direct lineage conversion of adult mouse liver cells and B lymphocytes to neural stem cells Cassady JP D Alessio AC Sarkar S Dani VS Fan ZP Ganz K Roessler R Sur M Young RA Jaenisch R Stem Cell Reports 2014 Dec 9 3 6 948 56 doi 10 1016 j stemcr 2014 10 001 Epub 2014 Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Heiman Lab Publications Publications Posted December 9 2014 Nitric oxide regulates synaptic transmission between spiny projection neurons Sagi Y Heiman M Peterson JD Musatov S Scarduzio M Logan SM Kaplitt MG Surmeier DJ Heintz N Greengard P Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2014 Dec 9 111 49 17636 41 doi 10 1073 pnas 1420162111 Read More Load More News Topics Media Mentions Press Releases Neuroscience News Picower e Newsletter Publications Featured News Lab News Bear Lab News Brown Lab News Chung Lab News Flavell Lab News Heiman Lab

    Original URL path: https://picower.mit.edu/cms/2014/12/ (2016-04-25)
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  • You may have happy memories about your family s annual ski vacation but if you see a tragic accident on the slopes those Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Featured News Media Mentions Tonegawa Lab News Posted August 27 2014 Tricking Memory in Lab Animals Stokes Hope for Ptsd The frailty of remembrance might have an upside When a memory is recalled two research teams reported on Wednesday it can be erased or rewired so that a painful recollection is physically Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Media Mentions Tonegawa Lab News Posted August 27 2014 Scientists Experiment With Reworking Memory in Mice Testing Rewires Circuits of Brain Changes Bad Memories to Good In experiments on mice scientists rewired the circuits of the brain and changed the animals bad memories into good ones Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Featured News Media Mentions Tonegawa Lab News Posted August 27 2014 Scientists Switch Good and Bad Memories in Mice For every memory there s more than just a place time and event There s also an emotional context But what if you could swap out the feelings of fear associated with a traumatic Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Featured News Media Mentions Tonegawa Lab News Posted August 27 2014 Scientists Turn Bad Memories Into Good Inside the Brains of Mice Remember that horrible date you went on a few years ago The one where you knocked over a candle and doused the flaming tablecloth and your date with a bottle of Bordeaux Horrible But now the Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Featured News Media Mentions Tye Lab News Posted August 20 2014 Identifying How the Connections Between Regions of the Brain Contribute to Anxiety Neuroscience has often focused on dividing the brain into regions pinpointing which individual neurons are responsible for specific functions Kay Tye s vision of the brain is defined less by Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Publications Tye Lab Publications Posted August 17 2014 Noninvasive optical inhibition with a red shifted microbial rhodopsin Chuong AS Miri ML Busskamp V Matthews GA Acker LC Sorensen AT Young A Klapoetke NC Henninger MA Kodandaramaiah SB Ogawa M Ramanlal SB Bandler RC Allen BD Forest CR Chow BY Han X Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Publications Tsai Lab Publications Posted August 15 2014 On the resilience of remote traumatic memories against exposure therapy mediated attenuation Tsai LH Graff J EMBO Rep 2014 Aug 15 8 853 61 doi 10 15252 embr 201438913 Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Publications Tonegawa Lab Publications Posted August 15 2014 Direct excitation of parvalbumin positive interneurons by M1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors roles in cellular excitability inhibitory transmission and cognition Yi F Ball J Stoll KE Satpute VC Mitchell SM Pauli JL Holloway BB Johnston AD Nathanson NM Deisseroth K Gerber DJ Tonegawa S Lawrence JJ J Physiol 2014 Aug 15 592 Pt 16 3463 94 Read More 1 By Joshua Sarinana In Publications

    Original URL path: https://picower.mit.edu/cms/2014/08/ (2016-04-25)
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  • walk into a meeting it is important to recognize basic objects such as the chair you will sit in but it is also critical to note the actions of others so you don t sit in the same chair as another person for example Most visual neuroscience and computer vision studies focus on the recognition of static objects but the ability to recognize dynamic actions is critical to scene understanding and social perception Using human neuroimaging MEG machine learning and a biologically inspired computer vision system graduate students Leyla Isik and Andrea Tacchetti tested what happens when an actor or viewpoint transforms the visual appearance of an action They found neural representations for action recognition that were able to discriminate between different actions while still being able to generalize across these transformations This translates into actions being recognized within a few hundred milliseconds regardless of actor or viewpoint They are now working on a computational algorithm to model these phenomena Responses to Natural Sounds Reveal the Functional Organization of Human Auditory Cortex Direction of Gradient Relative Primary Auditory Cortex Sam Norman Haignere Mcdermott Kanwisher Laboratories Mcgovern Institute The part of the brain responsible for hearing supports an impressive range of perceptual abilities that we typically take for granted we are able to recognize different patterns of speech perceive and appreciate music and recognize many other types of sounds in our environment However unlike the visual cortex there is limited consensus among neuroscientists about how auditory cortex is organized Graduate student Sam Norman Haignere and his colleagues addressed this question by measuring responses throughout human auditory cortex to a diverse collection of natural sounds that people regularly encounter in daily life The results of this experiment have provided some of the first evidence that the human brain contains distinct pathways that are specialized for processing speech and music respectively Activity Dependent Translation of Neurogranin in Hippocampus Is Important for Contextual Memory Formation Kendrick Jones Xu Laboratory The Picower Institute Understanding how memories are formed is of keen interest to the members of MIT s neuroscience community at this year s retreat It is well understood that calcium levels mediate essential neuronal functions that impact the strength or plasticity ofthe brain s synapses Postdoctoral fellow Kendrick Jones talked about neurogranin a brain specific protein molecule that regulates calcium dependent events by modulating the availability and dynamics of calcium binding protein calmodulin In previous studies scientists revealed that neurogranin levels in the hippocampus positively correlate with contextual learning and memory formation In more recent studies researchers found that neurogranin levels are rapidly regulated by experience in hippocampus a brain structure critical for memory formation Moreover elevated neurogranin levels facilitate synaptic plasticity and learning Jones and others believe fluctuations in the amount of neurogranin can alter the calcium dynamics that influence brain plasticity Optogenetic and Pharmacological Suppression of Face Discriminatory Neural Clusters Reveals their Causal Role in Face Discrimination Behavior How does activation of inferotemporal neurons constrain perception of visual objects Arash Afraz Dicarlo Laboratory Mcgovern Institute Why and how do we consistently recognize the infamous face of the Mona Lisa Nearly thirty years ago it was discovered that specific neurons organized in clusters in the monkey inferior temporal IT cortex respond selectively to faces However most of the evidence related to these neurons involved in face recognition has been correlational rather than causal in other words we don t know yet if these neurons are causally supporting face discrimination or their responses are epiphenomenal Arash Afraz and colleagues are studying the perceptual consequences of artificial perturbation of the spiking activity of IT neurons They are investigating how do populations of neurons in IT cortex causally support visual object recognition including face recognition They use face selective neurons as a proxy to begin this investigation because face selective neurons are spatially clustered and easy to target experimentally Afraz s experiments show that when face selective neurons are inactivated via drug microinjection also by shining light into the brain tissue in an optogenetic preparation the ability to identify the gender of a face is diminished The gender identification deficit happens only in the visual hemifield contralateral to the targeted brain hemisphere and the size of the deficit corresponds to the amount of inactivated brain tissue Afraz and colleagues in DiCarlo lab view these results as a small but important step towards characterization of the causal role of IT neurons in object recognition Creation of Versatile AAV Based Activity Reporters Andreas Toft Sørensen Lin Laboratory Mcgovern Institute Postdoctoral associate Andreas Sørensen presented exciting data from the Lin lab beginning and ending his presentation with the hope that the tool his research team implemented can be leveraged by others in the MIT neuroscience community Following up on work initiated by graduate student Kartik Ramamoorthi Sørensen s team developed a Robust Activity Marking RAM tool that can genetically tag recently activated neurons connected in active neuronal ensembles that are responsible for encoding learned behaviors The tool s advanced capability allows scientists to simultaneously manipulate cells and measure neural activity that regulates gene expression in transgenic mice Sorensen emphasized the system s modularity Its versatility across multiple species and brain regions makes it compatible with a broad variety of experimental designs and demands A Cortico Striatal Circuit that Controls Approach Avoidance Behaviors Striosomes red regions receiving inputs tagged by green fluorescent from anxiety related cortex Satoko Amemori Graybiel Laboratory Mcgovern Institute So many in our society suffer from depression and anxiety disorders Postdoc Satoko Amemori and her colleagues are studying the neuronal mechanisms of these psychiatric diseases in monkeys since their brain structures are so similar to ours Reinforcing the finding that humans with anxiety tend to choose avoidance when presented with an opportunity to approach or avoid conflict monkeys receiving anti anxiety medication are more likely to address conflict Previous studies revealed that two specific regions of the brain are related to mood and anxiety disorders Furthermore striosomes in the brain s striatum receive input from these particular

    Original URL path: https://picower.mit.edu/cms/20140831/neuroscience-news-summer-2014/ (2016-04-25)
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  • 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Sur Lab Publications Posted May 16 2014 Spatial Attention and Temporal Expectation Under Timed Uncertainty Predictably Modulate Neuronal Responses in Monkey V1 Sharma J Sugihara H Katz Y Schummers J Tenenbaum J Sur M Cereb Cortex 2014 May 16 pii bhu086 Epub ahead of print PMID 24836689 Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Featured News Media Mentions Tye Lab News Posted May 15 2014 Motherhood and Science Dr Kay Tye from the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT in Cambridge recently had a baby Keeva is now 10 months old and has been to Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Tonegawa Lab Publications Posted May 8 2014 Successful Execution of Working Memory Linked to Synchronized High Frequency Gamma Oscillations Yamamoto J Suh J Takeuchi D Tonegawa S Cell 157 1 13 2014 Read More 1 By Joshua Sarinana In Tonegawa Lab Publications Posted May 5 2014 Island Cells Control Temporal Association Memory Kitamura T Pignatelli M Suh J Kohara K Yoshiki A Abe K Tonegawa S Science 343 896 901 2014 Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Tonegawa Lab Publications Posted May 5 2014 Selection of preconfigured cell assemblies for representation of novel spatial experiences Dragoi G and Tonegawa S Phil Trans R Soc B 369 20120522 2014 Read More 0 By Joshua Sarinana In Featured News Lab News Media Mentions News Tsai Lab News Posted May 1 2014 Will Scientists Soon be Able to Erase Our Most Traumatic Memories The best way to forget an alarming memory oddly is to remember it first That s why the 7 percent of American adults who experience post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD at some point in Read More 1 By Joshua Sarinana In Tye Lab Publications

    Original URL path: https://picower.mit.edu/cms/2014/05/ (2016-04-25)
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